The pictures on this site are indeed of our current uniform; it is certainly not a period costume - we are not a re-enactment society. However, our Scout uniform is intrinsically completely true to the 'traditional' scout uniform.
The point of uniform in scouting is two-fold. First of all it gives a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Secondly, as everybody is the same and therefore equal, there is no singling out of people for having better, worse, or even different clothes.
Baden-Powell based the original Scout uniform on a uniform he designed for the South African constabulary. Much of the uniform was based around items that were easily obtainable from army surplus shops. As scouting became bigger the uniform became slightly more standardised, but still maintained the characteristic details.
Our uniform meets the requirements of that Baden-Powell described in Scouting for Boys. We often get questioned of why we have navy-blue shorts rather than khaki. Scouting for Boys gave the colour choice of Khaki, blue, or grey for the shorts. The navy-blue colour choice is epitomised in the Ernest Carlos picture 'The Pathfinder' that portrays a young scout with an image of God resting his right hand on his shoulder. The image can be seen on the BBC's Your Paintings website
Other scouting organisations have moved away from what is now known to some as 'the traditional scout uniform', because of wanting to become more in keeping with fashion. The truth of the matter is that the scout uniform was never anything to do with fashion. It is somewhat ironic that the scout uniform in a sense created a 'fashion' for boys of shorts mainly because of the freedom created after coming out of the ridged Victorian clothing. The scout uniform was just as striking as it is now even in its early years.
The BBS and BGS Association feels that something as iconic as the scout uniform should be maintained in its entirety. Our history is something we should be proud of, after all Choristers, blue-coat schools, judges, etc. all have their 'period uniforms'. The BBS and BGS does not wear 'the old uniform', it just simple did not find a need to change its uniform and the 'traditional uniform' is indeed our current uniform.
Nevertheless, the carrying on of something for posterity or tradition sake is bordering meaningless. However, the scout uniform as we wear it functions perfectly for the activities we undertake - after all, Baden-Powell designed it that way to begin with!
The scout uniform is designed to be both practical and smart. Every part of the uniform has a purpose or is symbolic of something. All sections wear shorts all year round. As we also wear long stocks, we do not get cold wearing them at all. As scouts are very active and kneel on the ground quite a bit (when putting up tents etc.), it saves the knees in trousers from getting muddied and ripped (mud easily washes off your knees!).
Our boys and girls are very proud of their scout uniform and love the attention and interest it brings. They often get complimented on how smart they look when in public - and not just by older members of the public. Many of our new members can't wait to get to wear their uniform.
Indeed, some teenagers, being teenagers may not want to instantly wear the uniform and maybe even see it as a little strange, however, once they see the other scouts in the group wearing the uniform and see the camaraderie flowing they will want to join in with them. It is all about being part of something much bigger than oneself. Of course, the uniform is not the be all and end all of scouting. Scouting is the people and the values of scouting that facilitate the friendship and fun had. But, why not pay homage to the roots of where we came whist we are doing it - after all, that can be fun in itself.
Everybody from the age of 12 (Scouts, Senior Scouts, Rover Scouts, and Scouters) wears the same uniform. This is in effort to try and close the age gap between children and adults so one can relate to the other more easily. Scouters are very different to teachers. Scouters lead by example and allow the boys and girls to make their own mistakes before stepping in. Wolf Cubs wear the 'traditional' Wolf Cub uniform complete with cap, jumper, shorts, long-socks and garters. Beavers, are not traditional per se, because they were not added until much later by the Canadians. But our beavers wear a back-formation of a 'traditional' uniform, based on the cub uniform but with a different colour jumper and cap.
The Uniform for each section can be found by following the links below: